The text was originally published in Russian
Were there diplomacy championships in the world, our country would invariably be among prize winners. For despite the hardships of the last two decades and resource shortages, Russian foreign policy remains successful in achieving its strategic objectives.
It is not only about the present generation of Russian diplomats being especially different from their predecessors – there is quite a number of bright figures, though. Essentially, the modern Russian diplomacy is the fruit of experience of conflicts, negotiations and transitions between them, gained in the last several centuries. This experience, diverse as it is, is spread in the Russian multicomponent and complex society, but its blob can be found in the center of decision-making – in the Foreign Ministry, the Old Square, where the President Administration is situated, and in the Kremlin. As a rule, whoever it is in these offices, the general Russian strategy stays unchanged.
It has been three hundred years since the late 17th century, when Russia was shaped in its present borders (excluding the North Caucasus and Khabarovsk krai in the Far East). During this time, the Russian elites have formed an understanding of the country’s territorial depth and its historic place of the Eurasian dynamic kernel and a stabilizer.
The key question for Russia is whether the Operation Atlantic Resolve will become the start of permanent stationing of American and NATO forces in the countries of former Warsaw Pact and the post-Soviet space. Moscow insists that its security needs be taken into account, whereas the American leadership believes that the motives of Russia stem from “misinterpretations and outdated thinking”.
The German Eastern policy is coming to its end with Berlin and Moscow acting as opponents on the Ukrainian issue. The fact is no news, however, the world Media have been busy speculating on it lately. Harshness of Angela Merkel’s anti-Russian speeches in the Australian Brisbane or the German Bundestag may not be blamed on pressure from the US. It is of Germany’s own interests to curb the Russian influence in Europe.
My observations in Washington prove that this is not an immediate objective for the US yet. However, it does not mean, that the Americans will refrain from an opportunity to speed up the fall of the Russian regime if the internal problems cause a social upheaval. Having met with the White House, National Security Council and Pentagon officials, as well as experts on Russia in Washington, I may conclude that the US has certain difficulties formulating a single consistent policy towards Moscow and is, therefore, incapable of conspiring against it.
It seems to me that George Friedman’s geopolitical doctrine simplifies both the international reality and the liberal ideas of the American mainstream. Acceptance of the reality of the existing balance of powers, aspiration for preserving stability and guidance by the international law – these are the key ingredients in the realist policies recipe that the US still fail to manage.